Hill AFB F-16 crashes in Afghanistan, pilot safe

Hill AFB F-16 crashes in Afghanistan, pilot safe

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — An F-16 from Hill Air Force Base crashed shortly after takeoff March 29 in Afghanistan.

According to a press release from the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Unit at Bagram Airfield, the pilot safely ejected and was recovered by coalition forces.

The pilot, whose name was not released, is being evaluated by medical personnel at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital at the airfield. Coalition forces have secured the crash site and a preparing for an investigation.

Hill spokesman Micah Garbarino confirmed that the jet belonged to Hill.

The 455th press release said that enemy fire was not a factor in the crash, and more information on possible causes will be released as the Air Force conducts its investigation.

The 421st is a sub-unit of the 388th Fighter Wing. It landed at Bagram on Oct. 28 to support Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s Resolute Support mission. The missions run parallel to each other as the follow-up to the U.S.’s post 9/11 combat work in Afghanistan, which was known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

During the deployment, the 421st and its assets fall under the command of the 455th.

The jets provide 24-hour surveillance and close-air-support for ground units in Afghanistan. The deployment, which is set to conclude sometime this spring, marks the last time Hill-owned F-16s will fly in combat.

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